MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The ninth annual “West Virginia Pop Culture and Comic Book Convention” took place at the Hazel and J.W. Ruby Community Center on Aug. 27 and 28 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

There was a variety of things for both kids and adults to enjoy. A few of them were comic books, games, vendors, and artists. This year, they even did something new and brought in some more games for participants to play, creating a convention within’ a convention. They called it “Lets Play Games Con.”

When attending this convention, people can expect to see cosplay, things to buy from vendors like comic books, toys, masks, and jewelry, a game playing area that had multiple televisions set up, along with arcade games, and concessions with food and drinks.

Bridgeport ATA Martial Arts doing a demonstration (WBOY Image)

Bridgeport ATA Martial Arts also had a vending table set up at the convention. The youth did multiple demonstrations for those who were enjoying their time at the convention.

Jon Hayes, promoter of the conventions mentioned that it can be an important event for people in the community. He said, “well, you know, in our tri-city area, there’s just not enough to keep kids and adults entertained. So, you know, if we have this once a year, I think it could be done even more than once a year, and there’s room for others to do things. And it’s just a fun event, it’s a different event and, uh, you know, I think diversification is one of the biggest things we can have in the world.”

Julie Hayes remembrance poster (WBOY Image)

Hayes and his late wife, Julie Hayes started up the convention many years ago. He owns “Comic Paradise Plus” and “Comic Paradise Plus 2.” They started the convention with the idea of getting more exposure for their stores, but it took on a life of its own. The idea was thought up in 2012, and now it has been executed to what it is today. Other people have joined in to make the convention more fun. “Lets Play Games WV!” joined this year, and helped with the “Lets Play Games Con.”

Julie Hayes passed away last year, in which the convention took a couple years off from the COVID-19 pandemic as well. Hayes was remembered as the event took place over the course of both days, not only on poster boards, but in the hearts of those who had a pleasure of working with her.

For anybody that missed the convention this year, they will be back next year. The convention is always held in the last weekend of August. Hayes mentioned that they will have a lot of the same things and may even have more. He is currently looking at different celebrity ideas for next year, so people might even see somebody well-known.